And Now I Have Smelly Armpits

Dear Self,

Clearly you have no idea how much you rock! Whoooooeeee! Girl, come here. Bring it in, bring it in and give us a hug. I know you don’t like to talk about this side of things because the world told you that you shouldn’t, because according to them, doing so makes you sound conceited and full of yourself. Malarky! Stop believing everything the world told you. You already have enough proof to remind you just how upside down and conflicted many of the world’s pronouncements are.

Be fly, girl. Go ahead, feel yourself, cuz this morning you KNOW you were severely badass. Ha! I love it. You enjoy this moment, missy because you know it doesn’t stick around forever. Shall we review yesterday’s happenings and how shell-shocked and unprepared you were once again for a few of life’s sucker punches? Sure, let’s.

In the distant future, when you return here, remember this: not only are the details of the events unimportant, the characters are even less important. They were merely strangers living their lives, unimpressed by your recurring need to be seen and understood.

What you should remember is how you FELT because that’s what nearly brought you to your knees. Among your personality issues, nestled inside your good and bad traits, is this two-fold problem. As much as you would like to be quickly over them, these problems are employed by your EGO and therefore, they are dedicated and committed to wrapping themselves around you any chance they get and dragging you back to the familiar, dark territory of your mind. Perfectionism and Shame. Yep. They live.

Love,

Your Tiny Inner Light

*****

How the hell did Perfection and Shame get in and rattle my cage?

Dread.

Damn. It’s been so long since I felt dread, I forgot how crippling it can be. It began with the first phone call of the day, a call which revealed that possibly, I made an awful financial mistake, the kind of mistake that could cost. Ugh. Here it came– tense stomach, holding the breath, increased heartbeats— I tried to tell myself to breathe, it’ll be okay. But I was too late.

Dread.

And even after a few more phone calls which showed that the problem might have an amenable solution, ugh, DREAD.

The voices in my head snapped to attention.

Mischief, Anger, Scaredy-Cat: Holy shit! Ruuunnnn! You totally screwed up! Aw man you are so screwed right now. How could you be so STUPID!

Patience, Light, Joy: Uh-oh. Ok, no need to panic. Oh honey, it’s okay. Don’t listen to them, you’re fine, it’s going to be alright, don’t worry. [To each other] Oh boy, you feel that? Her heart is really pounding. And her breath is irregular. I think we’re losing her. We need to talk louder, I don’t think she’s hearing us.

Mischief, Anger, Scaredy-Cat: IDIOT Maria! Look at you! Miss Smarty-fuckin-pants, always thinking she’s so smart while everybody else is so stupid! Yah! Who’s the moron now? And you let that woman talk to you like that? Who the hell is she?! What- is customer service suddenly dead?! Arggh!! What a wimp you are! You should have cursed her out! Tell her to meet you somewhere and see how much mouth she’d have then.The witch! But noooo, still acting like a wimp, like anyone gives a shit how polite you are.

Patience, Light, Joy: Maria, honey, don’t you listen to them. You did the right thing. Breathe, honey! You’re not breathing. Don’t listen to all that, honey. You’re smart, you’re not stupid. You may have made a mistake, but you’re still capable and smart. Everything is going to work out. You’re fine.

Mischief, Anger, Scaredy-Cat: Idiot.

And just like that, my day flitted away like a butterfly on the wind. After that I was on auto-pilot, doing some house chores, making a few more phone calls, trying not to think. But my mind went on one of it’s search and destroy treks, rummaged through the memory folders, unearthing as many previous conversations with rude strangers it could find, rediscovering occasions where someone made me feel dumb, helping to sustain my feelings of inferiority, ineptitude and insignificance.

Patience, Light and Joy rallied, but I barely heard them. The day wasn’t a complete loss, it was a skirmish that turned into a draw, nobody won. Thankfully, it ended with reading a shiny, new book (oh! that new book smell- yum!) and collapsing into bed.

Today I woke up with a childhood song playing in my head:

This little of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. 

After the pillow talk and other morning routines, I said goodbye to The Hubs and went into my office, still humming that song. Before I could write, there was a small pile of junk mail that needed shredding. This is my least favorite task but, with a steaming cup of coffee by my side, I got cracking, telling myself, the sooner you get done with the junk mail, the sooner you can write. Twenty minutes later, with just a few sheets of paper left to shred, the machine jammed.

Strangely, I was unperturbed. I went downstairs, got a pair of pliers out of the garage and got to work on that jammed shredder. Thoughts of buying a new shredder floated through my head. Yikes! Do I really want to put a hundred bucks on the charge card? Nope, I can fix this. Painstakingly, I plucked at the shredder’s sharp teeth, mightily, I yanked, next I turned it over, and plugged it back in, only to hear it groan and stop again. I repeated those actions three, four or nine times.

All the while, I kept expecting Mischief, Anger, and Scaredy-Cat to show up, but they never did. And then it hit me ….  yesterday did NOT end in a draw! I won! That song showed up in my head to let me know I won. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

Seventy-five minutes and some smelly armpits later, THE SHREDDER IS FIXED!!! Yasssss!!! Aaaand another beautiful week lies ahead of me.

rock 1

I need to remember that sometimes, dread happens and it doesn’t need to shut me down. I can still keep moving. There will be days when all I can do is, the best I know how and that is okay. I’m going to make mistakes, I’m going to clean up messes, and I am not going to always have control. No matter how any of the events turn out, I am going to hold on to this nugget of truth: I am a rockstar who ROCKS.